TOP
Sunday,September 27,2020 20:13 PM

Kibaki, Raila near agreement

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th February 2008 03:00 AM

Nairobi
Kenya’s rival parties may reach a breakthrough within days on their major sticking point over the disputed presidential elections, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday.

Nairobi
Kenya’s rival parties may reach a breakthrough within days on their major sticking point over the disputed presidential elections, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday.

Nairobi
Kenya’s rival parties may reach a breakthrough within days on their major sticking point over the disputed presidential elections, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday.

“I sincerely hope that we will conclude our work on item three, the settlement of the political issues, by early next week,” said Annan, who is mediating the dispute.

“We are all agreed a political settlement is necessary with a little patience and a bit of luck,” he added, without giving details on the progress made.

Riots and ethnic attacks have killed more than 1,000 people and uprooted 300,000 since the December 27 polls.

Negotiators for President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have already agreed on principles to stem the violence and help refugees, but had been stuck this week on the crucial dispute over the tallying of the ballot.

Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) says Kibaki supporters rigged the vote, but Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) says the opposition cheated in its heartland and points to the election board’s announcement that Kibaki had won.

Annan has given both sides until mid-February to resolve that issue and then move on to tackle deeper underlying problems like land and wealth inequality within a year.

He dismissed speculation in local media that the parties had reached an agreement on sharing power in a government of national unity. “Please don’t pay attention to the speculations and the rumours, Annan said.

Officials on both sides of the political divide declined to give details of the progress in negotiations, but said talks were moving forward.

Kenya’s election unrest has laid bare deep divisions over land, wealth and power that date from colonial rule and have since been stoked by politicians.

Annan said earlier the negotiations could not afford to fail. Mutula Kilonzo, a member of the Government’s negotiating team, agreed.

“We cannot afford our people using bows and arrows, people being pulled out of buses to be asked ‘which language do you speak?’ and then being chopped,” Kilonzo said.

In addition to hundreds of deaths, the turmoil in Kenya has uprooted 300,000 people, many living in squalid conditions and fearful of returning home. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, flew in yesterday for a three-day trip and was due to visit Rift Valley towns hit by tribal clashes today.

Foreign ministers from the regional IGAD bloc threw their weight behind Annan.

Kibaki, Raila near agreement

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author